May is finally here and the smell of spring is tickling our noses. We are now all clones driving the same car color – a glorious yellow-green hue! We’ll just think of it as Mother Nature’s fairy dust as she magically recreates yet another glorious spring, and surrounds us with a lush green and floral oasis.
But despite the fact that we are sneezing our days away, and dropping our frugal dimes on Kirkland’s generic Allegra (a.k.a Aller-Fex), we Escapadian’s shall complain no more because the good weather is finally upon us. So alas, drug induced drowsiness and all, we shall forge ahead with yet another progress report.
April 2017 Progress Report
Our April Savings Rate = 26%
We realize this savings rate number is not a great one. Losing my job last April, and dragging my feet on finding a suitable replacement has definitely taken its toll on our level of savings; especially since we originally had a savings rate of 59% prior to my layoff.
The Coming Robopocalypse!
Lately, I’ve been exploring a change of career where my job in finance has largely become either outsourced or automated. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a tech seminar on the future of robotics. It was like Stars Wars on steroids!
I learned two things:
- I’m getting old. Ha ha!
- ALL of our jobs are in jeopardy!
Whatever job you can think of, white-collar or blue-collar, a robot can replace it. Investment advisors, accountants, office/clerical, management, sales, business analysts, truck driving, meter maids, security guards, wait staff, inventory control, delivery, construction work, and warehouse pickers – just to give you an idea of where we are headed.
To top it all off…engineers have created a robot that can teach other robots.
Robots teaching robots? Crazy stuff, I tell you!
This made me think of the book Robopocalypse, a science fiction novel written by Daniel H. Wilson, where a computer scientist releases a super intelligent sentient A.I. named Archos R-14 into the world. The robot becomes self-aware and immediately starts plotting the end of human civilization.
The seminar was a real eye opener, and if this robotic technology continues to take off at high-speed, and I personally believe it will – most of us will be unemployed before we reach the full retirement age.
In fact, I believe this could happen very quickly over the next decade or so, and that the proliferation of automation has the potential to create a real income crisis for many of us. Just think about how fast the internet has changed the world! Time to consider a universal income, perhaps?
The Stock Market
The stock market went mostly sideways for us this month. We didn’t see any great gains, but at least we didn’t suffer too many losses. This is largely due to the fact that we are heavily invested in low-cost Vanguard index funds. When the market goes up the index fund does the same. When the market goes down the index follows. In the end, we’re okay with this because the compound interest is the real star of the show. We just hope we have more up days than down. Just sayin’.
April 2017 Net Worth
|Large and fixed assets||$217,659|
|April 2017 Total Net Worth||$345,530 (increase .77)|
Large and fixed assets – This is our current home value taken from Zillow. We decrease this number by 5% where Zillow can sometimes give inflated numbers. This also includes the current value of our beloved gas saving Toyota Camry (a.k.a. Frugalwheels). We use the Kelly Blue Book to obtain the current car value and adjust this down by $400 every month to account for depreciation.
Liquid assets – This is the combined balance of our checking, savings, 401(k)’s, Roth Ira’s, and taxable investments.
Long-term liabilities – This is the balance remaining on our mortgage.
Short-term liabilities– This is the balance remaining on our credit cards. We always pay this balance off by the due date to avoid all unnecessary interest charges, but our bill is not due until the following month, so there is always a carryover balance. This balance represents our food, household, gas, and other monthly expenses. We run everything through our favorite American Express credit card so we can reap the benefits of the cash back rewards!
Financial Goals –
Our financial goal from March was to up our savings. This did not happen thanks to a sideways stock market and lack of additional income because of the layoff. We must do better on this next month if we wish to succeed.
Our expenses were a little high because we are still getting bills for some of the medical expenses that our health insurance didn’t cover from Mr. FE’s medical mishap. And sadly, this is not going to improve anytime soon where we are now in the middle of yet another health conundrum.
A Health Conundrum
Health Goals –
Our health goal from March was to focus on fitness, so we upped the ante on our weekday workouts, and have spent the last several weekends taking long walks along the hiking trails. Unfortunately, this increased level of activity was short-lived where I kept fainting on the long walks!
Our health goal for May is to get to the bottom of why I faint when on lengthy walks. I’ve had four overnight hospital stays and numerous tests, so hopefully we will have a resolution soon!
How was your April?